Boozing and playing on a Sunday – the disappointing witness of Ireland rugby star Jacob Stockdale

Standards in the professing church have unquestionably dropped, and indeed have done significantly, in the past number of decades.

Be it the dress adopted by those attending church, the worldly pursuits of professing Christians or even the lowering in the regard for and fear of God, there can really be little argument that the separation between the world and the professing church has greatly diminished.

And to that end, it was with disappointment we read of the comments from Ireland rugby star Jacob Stockdale from an interview in the Presbyterian Herald, some of which was reproduced in the Belfast Telegraph.

Not only was the interview published just after he had played in a Six Nations match against Italy on the Lord’s Day, he also spoke of how he joins his team mates as they get their boozy nights out up and running, even joining in on the consumption of stupefying alcohol.

Further to that, he articulated his opposition to the Scriptural position of separation from sin.

We reaffirm our disappointment with his comments, which is all the more disappointing given the prominent position Jacob Stockdale occupies and the tremendous influence for good he could be were he to take a firm stand.

Rugby is Jacob Stockdale’s occupation and for him to have taken the field last Sunday is a clear breach of the Fourth Commandment.

This is outlined in Exodus 20:8-11, which says: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

There are those who sadly believe today that the Ten Commandments no longer apply, yet this runs contrary to the teaching of Jesus.

Such people quite often use the following passage to justify ignoring the Ten Commandments.

Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Of course, even this passage clearly demonstrates that such a contention is nonsense, as the closing verse says that those two commandments encapsulate the Ten Commandments.

But we are told in Luke that these two commandments which many modern Christians seem to think are the only rules to govern their lives are “written in the law” and therefore clearly these two commandments are a summary of the Ten Commandments.

Luke 10:25-28 says: “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

That being the case, it is clear that the Fourth Commandment is still very much applicable.

Jacob Stockdale’s decision, sadly, stands in stark contrast to that of former Scotland rugby player Euan Murray, who came to the realisation that playing on a Sunday was wrong, saying he didn’t believe in “pick ‘n’ mix Christianity”.

In an interview from 2009, Euan Murray said: “It’s basically all or nothing, following Jesus. I don’t believe in pick ‘n’ mix Christianity. I believe the Bible is the word of God, so who am I to ignore something from it?

“I might as well tear out that page then keep tearing out pages as and when it suits me. If I started out like that there would soon be nothing left.”

The views of Euan Murray are absolutely commendable and we would certainly encourage Jacob Stockdale to follow his lead. It is surely highly probable Euan Murray would be happy to advise Jacob Stockdale on the matter.

And the other truly disheartening aspect of this interview given to the Presbyterian Herald was his discussion of his drinking with his team mates, outlining his rejection of separation from sin.

Jacob Stockdale said he is a “firm believer that you can’t completely detach yourself from that culture because it makes it hard to socialise, to interact with your team-mates”.

He continued: “At the end of the day, the guys that I play with are my really close friends, whether they’re Christians or not.

“When you have team socials where there is a lot of drinking involved, you have to balance it; go, maybe have a few drinks but know when to stop drinking and be smart about it in that sense.

“I think it’s detrimental not to go to team socials and to distance yourself from your teammates and colleagues – at the end of the day you’re here to be an evangelist and separating yourself from others doesn’t help.”

Sadly, Jacob Stockdale thinks it is permissible to join in on the worldly activities of his ungodly teammates and it is “detrimental” to be separated from sin.

James 4:4 reminds us that this is a very wrong position to adopt. It says: “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

The attitude of Jacob Stockdale is actually putting him at “enmity with God”.

What a sad situation that is.

The perils of alcohol consumption are so clearly and wisely summed up by Solomon.

He says, under the inspiration of God, in Proverbs 23:29-35: “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”

What a folly it is to join in on such a worldly action. We would urge Jacob Stockdale to reconsider his approach to such matters.

It is also sad that the Presbyterian Herald is advertising Jacob Stockdale and his witness as commendable to its readers and to its members

Jacob Stockdale is a major figure, and is considered among the very finest players in the entire world, something which makes him a role model to many young Christians and aspiring rugby players.

The Presbyterian Church should be playing no part in promoting working on a Sunday and joining with the world in its ungodly activities.

According to the report, Jacob Stockdale is linked with the “Banbridge Road Presbyterian Church”, which would appear to be located in Dromore, County Down.

This church should be taking a stand against the actions and comments of Jacob Stockdale, but it does not appear that is the case.

Sadly, this is an example of the decline in the stand of the professing church in Ulster.

The story of Jacob Stockdale, whose rugby exploits will matter not one jot in eternity, will sadly be one of missed opportunity if he continues to forget the sabbath day to keep it holy and indulge in imbibing alcohol so as to fit in with his ungodly teammates.

We urge Jacob Stockdale, in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, to “consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5) and take what would prove to be a mighty stand for God.

Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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East Belfast Mission and Rev Andrew Irvine give themselves over to Rome

Jeremiah 6:13-16: “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a reprehensible event, as it seeks to overthrow vital doctrinal differences in the name of soppy ‘unity’.

Never mind the fact that Rome denies the precious truth of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), or that it blasphemously offers up Christ as a sacrifice at its Mass, or the blasphemous titles taken upon himself by the Pope, or Rome’s many other false teachings and claims.

So long as we stand together and pontificate about how lovely it would be to live together in peace and harmony, and without any of that frightful earnest contending for the faith, then won’t everything just be fine and dandy?

The attitude of the ecumenist is to ignore or shun doctrinal differences (although in many cases it could be because they don’t actually hold particularly strongly to any doctrines to differ from others on) for the sake of the utterly vital ‘unity’, even though it is nothing other than a shabby pretence.

To allow others to continue in error and refuse to try to correct them, out of a love for their never-dying soul, is seen as praiseworthy and noble.

And one such ever so worthy character who helped spread ecumenical deceit during that week long festival of mean compromise is Rev Andrew Irvine (pictured, top), Methodist minister and Chief Executive of the East Belfast Mission, itself ran by the Methodist Church.

A former big shot on Belfast City Council, Rev Andrew Irvine has been brought on board at the East Belfast Mission to help boost its income.

And on Wednesday, 23 January, Rev Andrew Irvine engaged in his mean ecumenical compromise by preaching at a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service in a Romanist chapel in Lurgan in County Armagh.

Rev Andrew Irvine was the speaker in the service in St Paul’s Roman Catholic church in the town.

How exactly such compromise can be justified is frankly remarkable.

Did Rev Andrew Irvine tell those in attendance that the Romish lie of works based salvation will lead any who believe it to hell?

Did Rev Andrew Irvine tell them that Purgatory is nothing but a Romish creation, a fictitious venue used largely to extract more money from its deluded adherents?

Did Rev Andrew Irvine blast the disgraceful Papist lie of offering prayers to Mary and to long dead so-called ‘saints’?

What do you think?

Had Rev Andrew Irvine said any of those things he’d have been out on his ear so quickly it would have made his head spin.

Instead, he chooses to say soft things that will offend nobody and leave those in attendance with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

The theme of this year’s Week of Christian Unity was ‘Justice’.

Not God’s justice of course, the ecumenist and apostate doesn’t like God’s justice.

Rather it is about what is known as ‘social justice’, meaning it is very easy territory for anyone to cover and certainly would allow those in attendance to leave with that warm, fuzzy feeling so valued in churches which have rejected Christ.

After all, who could disagree that it would be nice if everybody was treated fairly?

Saying things that please people, rather than telling them they are on their way to a lost eternity in hell if they don’t repent of their sins, is symptomatic of the false prophets the whole way down through history.

This was very prevalent in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Jeremiah was outright contradicted in his prophesies of destruction for Jerusalem by Hananiah, who prophesied from the imagination of his own heart rather than according to God’s Word.

Jeremiah 28:1-4 says: “And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

That certainly was a people-pleasing message from Hananiah.

Jeremiah responded in verse 9, saying: “…when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.”

What Jeremiah was saying was that time would prove who was telling the truth.

How did events transpire? Jeremiah 39 has the answer.

Jeremiah 39:1-9 says: “In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up. And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain. But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon. And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.”

Jeremiah had urged King Zedekiah to negotiate a truce with Babylon, Hananiah the false prophet claimed God had told him that the Lord would “break the yoke of the king of Babylon”.

Which message was more popular? Hananiah’s. Which message was of God? Jeremiah’s.

And so it is even to this day, the Word of God continues to be unpopular with the world at large, and Rev Andrew Irvine is following in the footsteps of Hananiah.

He is, in the words given to the prophet Isaiah by God, saying the “smooth things”.

Isaiah 30:9-10: “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:”

Ecumenical events are nothing other than deceits and we ought to stay well clear of any such event.

Likewise, any supposedly Protestant minister engaging in such is guilty of taking part in the deception.

It is unsurprising to see Rev Andrew Irvine taking this approach when you consider who is his boss, as it were, in the East Belfast Mission, Rev Brian Anderson (pictured, below), the President of the Irish Council of Churches.

On the East Belfast Mission’s own website, the Irish Council of Churches is called the “main ecumenical body in Ireland”, showing very clearly how the East Belfast Mission is avowedly tied up with Rome.

Let us be determined to oppose all form of ecumenical meetings and be unafraid to stand up against any who are eager to betray their Protestant heritage by mingling with the errors of Rome.

Ephesians 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Alpha Course conference and Nicky Gumbel celebrate Papal Mass

The Alpha Course has for some years now been a favoured method by which many churches seek to attract in new people.

‘That’s fantastic’, some might say. ‘Who wouldn’t want to see churches growing and attracting in new people?’

The problem, of course, is that the Alpha Course, while offering much that is perfectly orthodox, thus enticing the unsuspecting, is also contaminated with a significant amount of leaven.

And, as we are told in Galatians 5:9: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

What is that leaven? Well, it very much relies on emotionialism and puts an over emphasis on the Holy Spirit to the detriment of focusing on the blood of Jesus Christ, which alone can atone for sin.

This is a common feature of much of the charismatic movement and the Alpha Course’s leader, Nicky Gumbel (pictured, top), falls very much into the charismatic category.

A 1994 Time Magazine article entitled “Laughing for the Lord” says:

“It’s Sunday evening in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge neighborhood. Though pathetically tiny flocks of Londoners attend many Anglican services, Holy Trinity Brompton has a standing-room-only turnout of 1500. After the usual Scripture readings, prayers and singing, the chairs are cleared away. Curate Nicky Gumbel prays that the Holy Spirit will come upon the congregation. Soon a woman begins laughing. Others gradually join her with hearty belly laughs. A young worshipper falls to the floor, hands twitching. Another falls, then another and another. Within half an hour there are bodies everywhere as supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions, and strangest of all laugh uncontrollably. This frenzied display has become known as the ‘laughing revival’ or ‘Toronto Blessing’. After first appearing at Holy Trinity only last May, laughing revivals have been reported in Anglican parishes from Manchester to York to Brighton.”

Does that sound much like true worship of the almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God?

How can roaring like a lion and laughing like a hyena be in any way pleasing to God? Where is such nonsense found in the Bible?

The answer of course is that it is not found in the Bible.

Nicky Gumbel would claim this was a sign of the Holy Spirit coming upon his congregation.

However, any look at the Bible would see that those who were filled with the Holy Spirit acted in a manner so far removed from laughing like a hyena and roaring like a lion that to even make the comparison is rendered blatantly ludicrous.

Acts 13:6-12: “And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”

Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, reproved the worker of iniquity and his expounding of doctrine led to the conversion of Sergius Paulus. No mention of him rolling on the floor like an eejit.

Acts 11:24: “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

This passage speaks of Barnabas, who was “full of the Holy Ghost”. Nowhere is he recorded as being in some sort of trance like state. His infilling of the Holy Ghost was demonstrated through his faith.

Exodus 31:1-3: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship”.

How was the infilling of the Holy Spirit of Bezaleel, who played a key role in the construction of the tabernacle, manifested? Through his wisdom, understanding, knowledge and workmanship. None of these are consistent with laughing uncontrollably while rolling around the floor and roaring like a lion.

And given the unholy nature of this charismatic campaign waged by Nicky Gumbel and the practices and he behaviours he espouses, it should make us very wary indeed of the Alpha Course.

Sadly, it has gained much ground and has elevated Nicky Gumbel to essentially the position of the Pope of what is known as the emerging church, the non-denominational, charismatic, easy-believist fellowship type churches which have sprung up in the past 25 years, with the Emmanuel Church in the Craigavon area and Causeway Coast Vineyard Church two of the most prominent examples in our land.

Each year, Alpha hosts a leadership conference and the most recent one, which took place last May but whose speakers we have only recently became aware of, included a lengthy, fawning interview with a Roman Catholic cardinal.

Cardinal Luis Tagle is the most senior Roman Catholic churchman in the Philippines, a devoutly Roman Catholic country.

And a major theme of the saccharine interview was a Papal Mass, at which 6 million poor deluded people were in attendance, which Cardinal Luis Tagle organised.

He received a warm round of applause from the congregation in attendance for enabling so many people to be misled by “that Antichrist”, the Pope.

This is how Nicky Gumbel introduced that practitioner of Papist priestcraft to the audience: “Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, where there are 82 million Catholics. He serves as president of Caritas International, the Catholic relief organisation, which is the largest charity in the world. He is president of the Catholic Biblical Federation, which operates in 126 countries around the world. In January 2015, he hosted Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines which included the fourth largest ever gathering of people in history, when 6 million people gathered in a Papal Mass. We are very honoured to have him here, would you give a warm welcome to Cardinal Tagle.”

Cue much whooping and cheering and clapping from the audience.

We are reminded of 2 John 1:10-11, which says: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

It is an appalling situation.

The love-in of an interview saw the perma-smirking Nicky Gumbel gush over the wonderful skills of this incredibly senior emissary of Papal deceit.

And such sycophancy towards a representative of the evil Romanist system has the very clear and obvious effect of making the dupes in attendance believe that Rome is not so bad and the Pope is someone to at least be faintly admired, rather than treated with revulsion.

Nicky Gumbel then asked Cardinal Luis Tagle about the spiritual disciplines he follows, and Cardinal Luis Tagle revealed he is a follower of the ‘Examen’, the meditative prayer ritual created by the Jesuit founder and leader of the Counter Reformation, Ignatius of Loyola.

Interestingly, it is also the same ritualistic spiritual practice which was disgracefully espoused by Emmanuel Church leader Alain Emerson at a service he led there back in November.

Discussing the spiritual disciplines he follows, Cardinal Luis Tagle says: “I have learned from my seminary mentors, who are Jesuit priests, to do the examination of consciousness.”

That sounds very much like meditation, doesn’t it? Also, Cardinal Luis Tagle is very open about his influences from the Jesuits, the order which led the Counter Reformation in which untold numbers of Protestants were murdered for defending the doctrine of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.

Nicky Gumbel, as the minister of Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican Church, would know this, but he has clearly decided to ignore it and reject that knowledge which would make any minister worth their salt put clear water between them and Rome.

And it makes his response all the more appalling and reprehensible.

He says: “Explain that for us who haven’t had the benefit.”

Nicky Gumbel chooses to encourage an emissary of Papal deceit to spread false practices, holding him up as someone to follow.

This is the action of the man behind the Alpha Course and we would encourage anyone who attends a church which runs the Alpha Course or advocates it to challenge them on why they are running it.

We would certainly implore you not to submit yourself to this course or any who promote it.

Let us be separate from all such error and manifestations of compromise with the lies of Rome.

2 Corinthians 6:17: ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you”.

Evangelical Alliance document suggests providing “trans” accessible toilets in church

The ongoing madness engulfing the western world in relation to matters of gender has begun to infect the church, and the Evangelical Alliance has apparently made a concession to this ungodly movement.

In a document called ‘Transformed’, which was written by Peter Lynas, he writes that “providing toilets that are clearly accessible to trans people will be an important part of the welcome provided by churches and charities”.

This would certainly seem to be a recommendation that churches make moves to tolerate the so-called gender choices made by people who make up what is known as the “trans community”.

And this recommendation would fly in the face of what the Bible has to say regarding gender, which is a foundational feature of the world.

Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Jesus reaffirmed this in Matthew 19:4 when speaking to the Pharisees. He said: “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female”.

Sadly, this suggestion from Peter Lynas and the Evangelical Alliance would appear to be a winking at sin, a toleration of that which is condemned by God and indeed to do it within the church, thus compounding the matter further.

2 John 1:11 speaks of false teachers by saying that “he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds”.

This can apply to various aspects of our lives and, while it may be claimed those pushing a transgender ideology are not being wished “God speed”, there is certainly an enabling to live an alternative lifestyle inside the church which is nowhere accepted as being proper in the Bible.

This is demonstrated in a practical manner within the church in the letter to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:2.

It says: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”.

God commended the Ephesians for “not bear[ing] them which are evil”.

God also says this in Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

This can clearly be applied to the notion of transgenderism, and the word “abomination” can also be translated as “detestable”, showing how God views such.

And this helps demonstrate why making changes to your church, conforming it to the world, is a grave error and something the Evangelical Alliance ought not to be promoting.

The document by the Evangelical Alliance appears to be a pastoral guide to churches dealing with those experiencing what they term “gender dysphoria”, where people believe their physical sex doesn’t match up with the gender with which they identify.

It strives to tread a middle line between very softly saying that the Bible is opposed to the notion of transgenderism, but without ever outright condemning such notions as sinful.

The document instead uses very general terms such as this, in the conclusions section: “The church must seek out clarity in this difficult area. Whilst we seek to support those struggling with gender dysphoria, we can resist and oppose forms of transgender ideology which offer alternative, radically secular ideas about what it means to be human.

“The Bible has much to say about what it is to be human, about sex and gender, about the body and about life in a fallen world. Redemption, through life in Christ, brings hope for our hearts, mind and bodies, all of which have been affected by the fall and by ongoing sin. But, the church must be careful to respond pastorally to individuals, whilst recognising the challenges and complexities surrounding transgender.”

The first sentence, which says the church “must seek out clarity” really doesn’t mean anything. Clarity about what?

Then it says about opposing “forms of transgender ideology, which offer different, radically secular ideas”. Does this mean some forms of transgender ideology which are perhaps not classified as “radically secular” are permissible, or can be worked alongside or with?

There is far from a clear message given out here.

Then the generality comes in, talking about how the entire world is fallen, which tends to create an air of equivocation.

Of course, the whole world is fallen, we are all wretched sinners fit only for hell (Jeremiah 17:9), but this does not mean a softer view can be had of any particular sin because of this.

James 4:17 says: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Because we know something is a sin, but also accept we are sinners ourselves, does not mean we should try to ignore or minimise sin or compare one sin with another.

Everyone obviously commits sin and all sin must be condemned but when a particular way of identifying your being is something which contradicts God’s Word and His natural order, this demonstrates a clear decision to live in a manner contrary to God’s Word.

We would call on Peter Lynas and the Evangelical Alliance to rip up their paper and start again, instead outlining why the Bible condemns variance from God’s established order and explaining the means of salvation which will deliver from such sin.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with striving to be compassionate, in fact we ought to be – look at the compassion of Jesus when he looked out at the crowds who were in need of salvation or when he wept over the condemnation of Jerusalem – but we cannot surrender or play down God’s Word in order to prevent someone from being angered by having their sin placed in the light of the Bible.

Jude 1:22-23: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

True Protestantism is ‘residual bigotry’, says ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas

The leader of the Evangelical Alliance and senior figure in the Causeway Coast Vineyard Church, Peter Lynas, has hit out at anyone who dares to question or highlight his ecumenical cuddling up with Rome.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas, a title he has emphatically earned, let loose at any true Protestant when given a forum by the Belfast Telegraph last week.

He branded any who pointed out the error of mixing with the false and blasphemous religion of Romanism as being guilty of demonstrating “residual bigotry” in an interview with the arch-ecumenist Alf McCreary.

In his interview, ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas said in response to a question enquiring as to whether he has ever received any criticism for his faith: “There is also some residual bigotry directed at me for working with the Catholic Church on areas of shared interest. Very few actually want to engage – there is a lot of virtue-signalling, which is a shame.”

Both of the key words he used, “residual bigotry”, are very instructive.

Residual is instructive as it implies that true Protestantism is nothing but a minor legacy of days gone by, and it appears that ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas is more than happy for that to be the case.

Of course, true Protestantism is a diminished force in our land, but it is something to be lamented for and repented of, not to be gloried in.

When Saul departed from the Lord and He rejected him, it was a time of sorrow and was bewailed by the Lord’s servant, in this case Samuel.

1 Samuel 15:10-11: “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.”

A servant of God should be distressed at apostasy, be it in an individual or a nation, not expressing contempt for what once was.

This is a common theme throughout the books of the prophets as well, no less so than in the case of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah, known often as the wailing prophet, bemoaned the state of religion in the land of Judah throughout his prophecy and sought faithfully to see the people restored to their prior state of godliness.

In pronouncing judgment on the people, God said in Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

The old paths, where true Protestantism, which is true Biblical Christianity, predominated in the land, are being consciously rejected, including by the likes of ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas.

Has true revival ever been achieved when professing Christians have aligned themselves with Rome? Of course not.

The Roman Catholic Church is a rotten system which leads its poor deluded adherents to a lost eternity in hell by denying the work of the cross by Jesus Christ as being sufficient for salvation.

But ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas is ever keen to mingle seed with the architects of Romish deceit and those who do likewise, while encouraging on others to do the same.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas applauded so-called Protestants who toddled down to Dublin to cower before the leader of that anti-Christian system, the Pope, when he visited the Republic of Ireland in the summer.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas eulogised the ecumenical evangelist Billy Graham when he died, despite Billy Graham instructing poor Roman Catholics concerned for their soul to return to the clutches of Rome and being on friendly terms with successive Popes.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas endorsed the ecumenical ‘Healing the Land’ prayer event at Nutts Corner, which was also backed by at least one Roman Catholic organisation.

And ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas happily retains a close relationship with Alan Scott, former lead pastor of the Causeway Coast Vineyard Church in Coleraine on the north coast of Northern Ireland. This is despite Alan Scott making light of the blasphemy of Mary worship and stating he is “all in” with the Pope.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas ought to be grateful there remains a residue of true Christianity in Northern Ireland, rather than rail against it.

As for the other word, ‘bigotry’, this indicates how low an opinion ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas has of true Christianity.

He despises it and misrepresents it and calls it a false and vexatious name.

This was warned of by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount when he said in Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

We are not to be in any way distressed by such lies, but to continue on following and serving God.

Earnest contention for the faith (Jude v 3) and reproving the unlawful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), such as Romanism, is considered bigotry by ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas.

What a sad state of affairs it is.

We know not who else has spoken out against ‘Papist’ Peter Lynas in his dreadful ecumenical compromise, but it is certain there is a swipe at the witness of ‘Protestant Revival’ within his comment.

Furthermore, we have no doubt he is alluding to the pathetic ‘challenge’ he issued on our facebook page back in September.

We are certainly not interested in playing by his rules and he was confidently able to rest in the knowledge that so long as he sets the boundaries he won’t be forced to give a Scriptural justification for his abandoning of true Christianity.

‘Papist’ Peter Lynas is more than welcome to set out a Scriptural case for his rejection of God’s Word (an oxymoronic position of course, but obviously a leap he has made in his own mind).

However, what we are really concerned about is, as we have sought to do from the start, defending the true gospel and taking a stand against the workers of error.

Compromise and fellowship with Rome is error, pure and simple, regardless of whether you try to claim it is justified because Rome is opposed to abortion or for some other wafer thin reason.

Just because they claim to be under the same generic banner of Christianity, it doesn’t mean Rome is an ally.

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, made that mistake when he lined himself up with the evil King Ahab, who reigned over Israel.

1 Kings 22:3-4 says: “And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.”

God’s displeasure can be seen in 2 Chronicles 19:2, which says: “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.”

The two kings may have had some things in common, but Ahab was not a servant of God, nor can anyone say that emissaries of Rome are serving God when they deny his wonderful salvation.

And anyone claiming to be serving God is at best sadly misguided in aligning themselves with those who reject Christ, as Jehoshaphat was sadly misguided.

As with Samuel and as with Jeremiah, we lament to see the demise of true Christianity in this country, rather than rejoice in the replacing of it with something displeasing to God and mocking its diminished presence.

Once more, we implore any reader still undecided or indeed still in the camp of the ecumenical charismania movement to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Rome demonstrates clearly that all that calls itself Christian is not what it claims to be.

Sometimes it is not so obvious, people can say many orthodox sounding things, but ultimately serve to undermine the cause of Christ while claiming to be His representative.

1 John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Arlene Foster congratulates lesbian Scottish Tory leader and her ‘partner’ on birth of child

Genesis 1:27-28: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 2:18, 21-22: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

It is a foundational principle of God’s creation that we should “be fruitful, and multiply”.

It is also a foundational principle of God’s creation that he made man and woman to be different from each other, and that he made them for each other.

It is a biological fact that two people of the same gender CANNOT “be fruitful, and multiply” in the natural way. Therefore, unnatural methods must be sought.

And that is just what has happened in the case of Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson and her ‘partner’, Jen Wilson.

We are not intimately aware of how the process was worked out, nor do we desire to know. However, what we do know, and what any sane person would concede, is that two women, or two men, cannot create new life.

Yet DUP leader Arlene Foster (pictured, top), a professing Christian, has seen fit to congratulate two lesbians, acting wholly outside the will of God, on such an occasion as this.

Taking to Twitter to express her delight at and support for such ungodliness, Arlene Foster said: “New life is wonderful. We can all remember our first cuddle. Many congratulations.”

As we said before, the natural order created by God is a foundational principle of the Bible. It is contained in the first two chapters of the Bible in the creation story.

There should be no professing Christian who is not fully aware of this, and you can be certain Arlene Foster is indeed absolutely aware of this.

Yet she has chosen to publicly act in a way that repudiates this most basic Biblical tenet.

Of course she has previously chosen to do the same.

Back in June, we highlighted her attendance at an event celebrating the ‘contribution’ of various sodomites to society in Northern Ireland, while she also attended a Muslim religious celebration, even receiving a Muslim henna tattoo on her hand. She attended a GAA match, an organisation which to this day boasts many trophies and grounds named after Irish republican Roman Catholic terrorists, on a Sunday, claiming she had received the permission of her bishop. Given she is a member of the Church of Ireland and lives in County Fermanagh, that would presumably mean her bishop is the enthusiastic ecumenist, the Right Eejit John McDowell, hardly a great person from whom to take direction.

One of her party’s MLAs, Paula Bradley (pictured, above with Arlene Foster), co-sponsored the same sodomite-exalting event that Arlene Foster addressed and went one further by adding her name as a sponsor to a reprehensible drag queen event at Stormont, with no apparent condemnation from her leader, ie Arlene Foster.

And now she has given her blessing to the ungodly notion of a same-sex couple having children together.

We will remind Arlene Foster again of what the Bible has to say about this.

Matthew 19:4-6: “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

A man shall leave his father and his mother, Jesus said, and shall cleave to his wife.

Jesus did not countenance or allow for a union between two people of the same gender, nor did he countenance or allow for an individual having two parents of the same gender.

We have seen many comments from the deluded, the deceived and the deceivers who would try to claim that Jesus would have been ok with, nay, supported same sex unions, despite there being not one shred of evidence to support such a bald assertion.

Here we have a concrete case of Jesus indicating that the only true and proper marriage union and parental arrangement being that of a man and a woman.

He then follows that comment up by saying: “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Jesus, in this instance, was talking about divorce, but it could as easily and as well be applied to this situation with regards the union of man and woman. That which God has instituted ought not to be disregarded, changed or trampled over at the whim of the currently trendy opinion.

Why Arlene Foster felt the need to even comment on the birth of this child is not entirely clear, perhaps she is too keen to cosy up with the Conservative Party as they are political allies in Westminster.

However, Arlene Foster, as a professing Christian, ought to have her first alliance to God.

1 Samuel 12:24: “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”

God enjoyed prayer dancing to ABBA music – Pete Greig of 24-7 Prayer

Psalm 89:7: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”

Hebrews 12:28: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”

The leader of the ecumenical 24-7 Prayer grouping, Pete Greig, who is helping the Roman Catholic Church try to bring in more people, has claimed that God told him He was “quite enjoying” a group of girls dancing round their handbags and praying to the music of Swedish pop group ABBA in a prayer room he was running.

Pete Greig has outrageously claimed that such polluted “worship” was approved of by God, even going so far as to claim God specifically told him that was the case.

The founder of the 24-7 prayer group says that God supported prayers being offered to Him to the tune of ‘Super Trouper’, which, according to Wikipedia, was a UK number one in 1980.

In an interview he has given to the ‘Premier Christianity’s website, Pete Greig recounts the story of a large group of girls coming into a prayer room he had set up.

He says: “Then a bunch of student girls, 30, came in to pray. They looked like they were dressed for a night on the town. I thought, ‘This is going to be interesting because they haven’t seen me.’ My secret fear is that no one’s actually praying in the prayer room, and they went to the stereo and confirmed my worst fears. They put on ABBA… ABBA! They started to dance around to Super Trouper. I was just about to bust them when to my shock and horror, they start praying! They’re going, ‘Jesus, we just thank you (Su-per, Trou-per)!’, and they’re dancing around their handbags.

“I sort of said to God, ‘Is this ok?’ And I think God said to me, ‘I’m quite enjoying it’. We need to pray the way God made us.”

It’s hard to believe someone who is supposed to be a serious religious leader could utter such nonsense, isn’t it?

What absolute blasphemous hogwash!

Dear reader, do not be deceived by this man.

How anyone can claim that worldly popular music can be used to glorify God is beyond comprehension.

When Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray, he taught them not to do so in an attention-seeking way, but to do it discreetly.

Matthew 6:5-7 says: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Dancing about like an eejit, to use an Ulsterism, is certainly not a humble or indeed respectful way to approach the God of heaven.

The way we approach God is of utmost importance, it ought to be a sober, humble, reverent approach.

Rather than jumping round the room, we should have, as much as is practically possible, our eyes closed and heads bowed as we approach His mercy seat.

The Bible is littered with examples of this.

The elders of the children of Israel did it, when they heard of God’s plan to deliver them from the Egyptians.

Exodus 4:31: “And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”

All the people did it when they saw the glory of the Lord had filled the temple in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 7:1-3 says: “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

There is coming a day when all shall bow before God.

Romans 14:11: “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

If we have a proper appreciation of the power of God, of the might of God, then we will bow our heads when we speak to Him, not dance around like you’re in a nightclub to a song of the world.

We are reminded of the need to be separated from the world in James 4:4, which says: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

We need to remember the immense privilege we have to come before God ourselves with our prayers and petitions. The veil is rent and we have access to the holy of holies.

Hebrews 10:19-22: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Ephesians 2:13-14,18: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

When we look at the sacrifice Christ made for us, when we look at the lost eternity in hell we can be saved from through His shed blood, when we look at the joys of heaven open to all who believe on Him, should we not approach Him with reverence and godly fear?

In the same interview, Pete Greig says in the prayer rooms he sets up there are a number of ways he says he has brought “innovation” in prayer.

This includes praying “with graffiti, with all types of music, with dance, with all sorts of innovation”, he says.

Only, of course, this isn’t how we are to pray, if we look at examples from the Bible. Prayer is about communicating with God and pouring our hearts out to Him, be it in praise, or in distress, or in thanksgiving, or in putting our requests to Him.

We can see the example of the Psalmist in Psalm 6:6-9: “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.”

David didn’t prance around his bedroom all night, dancing round a stereo and spraying graffiti on his wall, he spoke to His Saviour, or indeed described it as “groaning”, pouring out his heart to God when he was afflicted.

This is true prayer, and Pete Greig serves only to corrupt and pollute true worship, thus leading others down a path of blasphemous so-called worship and prayer to God.

2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Don’t be turned unto the fables of the likes of Pete Greig, creating a new and unscriptural way to approach God, turning prayer into entertainment.

Let us all be ever mindful of the greatness of God and approach Him in a manner befitting the Creator of all things.